Prison health – HIV, drugs and tuberculosis. Fact sheet (2009)
At any given time, over two million people are imprisoned in penal institutions in Europe. Prisons are extremely high-risk environments for transmission of infectious diseases because of overcrowding, poor nutrition, limited access to health care, continued illicit drug use and unsafe injecting practices, unprotected sex and tattooing. If prisons are not to become a breeding ground for infectious diseases, prevention and treatment must be an integral part of the penal system. Three major issues challenging prison health are HIV, drug use and tuberculosis (TB). Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted diseases are also major threats to the health of prisoners.